The government will implement a scheme to offer price protection to farmers when the prices of commodities crash.
Announcing this while delivering the policy address to the Assembly on Wednesday, Governor R.S. Gavai said the scheme, to be known as ‘Karshaka Raksha Paddhathi,’ would also involve strengthening of the six European Union-funded agricultural wholesale markets and establishment of ‘agricultural producer companies’ with the representation of farmers. The government would go in for a paddy protection insurance scheme by coordinating all similar schemes, the Governor said.
The government, he said, proposed to select 100 villages, branded as ‘Akshaya Villages,’ where cultivation of vegetables, paddy, coconut, fruits, medicinal plants, spices, etc. and activities such as poultry rearing, bee keeping and cattle rearing would be promoted. The government wanted to realise the dream of making Kerala a ‘fallow free State’ a reality this year, Mr. Gavai said.
It was proposed to extend distribution of ration rice at Rs. 2 a kilo to families of workers in the unorganised sector, open 250 new Supplyco outlets and upgrade 100 Maveli stores to the status of supermarkets. To ensure transparency, biometric-based e-PDS would be implemented in a phased manner. Three hi-tech cattle farms would be set up under the Kerala Livestock Development Board (KLDB) at Kulathupuzha, Kolahalamedu and Mattuppetty. The Livestock Development Insurance Scheme would be extended to the whole State and a Fodder Policy would be declared to bring uncultivated land under fodder production. The government also proposed to introduce a social security scheme to prevent exploitation of fisherfolk. The State Insurance Department would introduce a life insurance scheme, to be called the Vaypa Insurance Scheme, for those availing loans from cooperative institutions. The government would bring forward amendments to the Kerala Cooperative Societies Act for enhancement of women’s reservation in cooperatives and quota for the physically challenged in employment. The new fully computerised accounting system in municipalities would be extended to panchayats. Separate building rules would also be issued for panchayats. In the health sector, specialty cadre system would be implemented in the Department of Health Services and the Malabar Cancer Centre would be upgraded to the status of the Regional Cancer Centre, Thiruvananthapuram.
In the education sector, satellite education through EDUSAT would be extended to all government colleges during 2010-11 at an estimated cost of Rs. 2 crore. Two regional science centres would be set up at Ambalapuzha and Chalakudy by the Kerala State Science and Technology Museum.
On the law and order front, a dedicated Anti-Terrorist Investigation Squad would be formed with specialised training and linkages with various investigating agencies. An expert committee would be set up to study the skill development programmes to be taken up in prisons. It was also proposed to create a Victims’ Assistance Fund and set up Mediation Centres at the High Court, the Governor said.